GREENBELT, Md. (July 14, 2016)—U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Arthur Charles Clements, age 57, of Temple Hills, Maryland, today to 14 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for receipt of child pornography. Judge Hazel also ordered that upon his release from prison Clements must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to Clements' plea agreement, on April 8, 2015, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a report of suspected child pornography from Microsoft after Clements uploaded an image depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct to his One Drive account. NCMEC referred the report to the Maryland State Police and on July 24, 2015, Maryland State Police Troopers and Special Agents from HSI executed a search warrant at Clements' residence. Law enforcement seized a laptop computer that contained from than 1,900 videos and 1,100 images of child pornography, including images and videos depicting sadistic or masochistic conduct and other depictions of violence performed on prepubescent children. Forensic analysis of Clements' digital media revealed that Clements received child pornography via Skype, including a video received on March 25, 2015.
Clements waived his rights and agreed to be interviewed by law enforcement. During the interview Clements admitted that he downloaded and distributed child pornography and had been watching child pornography for approximately seventeen years. Clements also admitted chatting via Skype for at least six months with an adult male living in another state who was sexually abusing a nine year old girl. Clements admitted to watching live sexual conduct between the adult male and girl. Clements had at least 34 videos and 25 images documenting the sexual abuse of the minor female saved on his laptop computer, including the video received on March 25, 2015, described above.
Within 12 days, Special Agents with HSI identified and arrested the individual with whom Clements chatted via Skype, Joshua Logan Thornton, age 31, of Wynne, Arkansas. The child was rescued. Thornton pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography in the Eastern District of Arkansas on November 28, 2015, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison on February 18, 2016, in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Arkansas.
In 2007, Clements was convicted of indecent exposure in St. Mary's County Circuit Court stemming from images and videos he sent to teenaged girl.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristi N. O'Malley and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sumon Dantiki, who prosecuted the case.